Are Whole Grains Healthy?

Are Whole Grains Healthy?

Is there anything to the current trend of calling whole grains unhealthy and unfit for human consumption unless they are soaked or sprouted first? I know a big proponent of this view is the Weston A. Price foundation (which is also very anti-vegetarian), but I have been hearing this from other places lately as well. Thanks for your help! .


Marty Davey, RD, replies:

I just went on to the Weston Price website. Wow, they put all kinds of stuff together and hope that no one will try and connect the dots. The article was written in 1999. That was 11 years ago. Are the points they bring up even relevant now?

I have never been accused of being orthodox, however, this article points to “orthodox nutritionists” and that these “orthodox”-ites have finally woken up to the idea that white flour isn’t healthy. There is no evidence of what orthodox nutrition actually says or what an orthodox nutritionist actually is. I am a dietitian, not a nutritionist. Does this make me not orthodox? I was looking forward to wearing a special hat or something.

Many studies and nutrition experts have been telling us white bread isn’t the best thing since at least 1970. I don’t know whether to cheer that the authors finally got on the bandwagon or wonder why Weston Price doesn’t upgrade its website for 11 years.

What is an anti-nutrient? The authors insist that grains are full of anti-nutrients that will come and get you in the night or attack you with celiac disease and colitis. They state you must sprout your grains like “our ancestors. . . A quick review of grain recipes from around the world will prove our point.” I have only had experience with their “grain recipes from around the world” in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Thailand, Hong Kong and Nepal. I have eaten foods prepared in a traditional manner from India, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and Wales. These are more countries in their global tour. No one did a long soak except as a special holiday dish. When you are trekking in the Himalayas, you don’t have the time to soak rice and lentils for hours. They are done in an hour. I guess the entire country has a constitution of steel.

Please read this article. It is incredibly enlightening. You will find that lard and cream help absorb calcium. I have no idea where they got that from. Wait! I found it. Oscar F. Boyd wrote about it in 1932. Followed up in 1940 by James H. Jones’ entreaty, “The influence of fat on calcium and phosphorus metabolism.” Here’s the scoop, knowledge of vitamins, minerals and absorption has progressed since 1940. We have learned that vitamin D, which is a fat soluble vitamin, helps calcium get absorbed. You can get vitamin D from just about every non-dairy milk on the shelf. You can get vitamin D from the sun. Where do I get that from? Medical Biochemistry, by Baynes and Dominiczak, and Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism by Groff and Gropper, both published in this century. It is absurd for them to insinuate that one would need cream or lard to get calcium. Does Weston Price believe that hoar shirts will set your soul free? I didn’t have time to search for their flat earth evidence.

After a good laugh, realize that just cuz it’s on the web, doesn’t make it so. Then, make a stir-fry over 10 minute quinoa and leave a plate of wheat grains for the celiac monster.


Marty Davey

Author: Marty Davey

Marty Davey is a Registered Dietitian and has a Masters degree in Food and Nutrition from Marywood University. She became a vegetarian in 1980 when she discovered that the French didn't want our meat products due to factory farming methods and began studying nutrition while cleansing her diet to a totally plant-based lifestyle. She has a private practice specializing in assisting clients transitioning from the conventional Western foods to a plant-based regime.

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